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DELAWARE DRUNK DRIVING – DUI – DWI – DEFENSE LAWYER & ATTORNEY

 

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Delaware Toughens Penalties for DUI Offenders – July 13, 2009

On July 13, 2009 Governor Jack A Markell signed two pieces of legislation into law creating tougher penalties for those convicted of Driving Under the Influence (DUI) of alcohol. The first, House Bill 152, sponsored by Representative Bryon Short and Senator Brian Bushweller increases fines for all DUI offenders and in particular fifth and subsequent offenders. In 2008, state and local law enforcement officers made approximately 6,916 DUI arrests. Of those, 5,057 drivers were first-time offenders and 59 drivers had been previously arrested for DUI five or more times.

The second bill signed by Governor Markell, Senate Bill 177, was sponsored by Senate President Pro Tempore Anthony DeLuca and Representative Pete Schwartzkopf. It strengthens penalties for first time DUI offenders with a BAC of .15 or higher by increasing the period of hard revocation for these individuals, who are mandated to have an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) installed in their vehicle, from 30 to 45 days. It also increases their period of license revocation from three to six months as well as mandates the use of IID for six months for those individuals. Furthermore, it limits the driving authority of IID licensed drivers to work, home, school, alcohol treatment programs and interlock service provider appointments.


HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES; 145th GENERAL ASSEMBLY; HOUSE BILL NO. 152
AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 21 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO RULES OF THE ROAD.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE:

Section 1. Amend § 4177(d)(1), Title 21 of the Delaware Code by deleting the amounts “$230” and “$1,150”, and inserting in lieu thereof the amounts “$500” and “$1,500”, respectively.

Section 2. Amend § 4177(d)(2), Title 21 of the Delaware Code by deleting the amounts “$575” and “$2,300”, and inserting in lieu thereof the amounts “$750” and “$2,500”, respectively.

Section 3. Amend § 4177(d)(3), Title 21 of the Delaware Code by deleting the amounts “$1,000” and “$3,000”, and inserting in lieu thereof the amounts “$1,500” and “$5,000”, respectively.

Section 4. Amend § 4177(d)(4), Title 21 of the Delaware Code by deleting paragraph (4) and inserting in lieu thereof the following.

“(4) For a fourth offense occurring any time after 3 prior offenses, be guilty of a class E felony, be fined not less than $3,000 nor more than $7,000, and imprisoned not less than 2 years nor more than 5 years.

(5) For a fifth offense occurring any time after 4 prior offenses, be guilty of a class E felony, be fined not less than $3,500 nor more than $10,000 and imprisoned not less than 3 years nor more than 5 years.

(6) For a sixth offense occurring any time after 5 prior offenses, be guilty of a class D felony, be fined not less than $5,000 nor more than $10,000 and imprisoned not less than 5 years nor more than 8 years.

(7) For a seventh offense occurring any time after 6 prior offenses, or for any subsequent offense, be guilty of a class C felony, be fined not less than $10,000 nor more than $15,000 and imprisoned not less than 10 years nor greater than 15 years.

(8) For the fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh offense or greater, the provisions of § 4205(b) or § 4217 of Title 11 or any other statute to the contrary notwithstanding, the first six months of the sentence shall not be suspended, but shall be served at Level V and shall not be subject to any early release, furlough or reduction of any kind. No conviction for violation of this section for which a sentence is imposed pursuant to this paragraph shall be considered a predicate felony conviction for sentencing pursuant to § 4214 of Title 11. No offense for which sentencing pursuant to this paragraph is applicable shall be considered any underlying felony for a murder in the first degree charge pursuant to § 636(a)(2) of Title 11.”.

Section 5. Amend § 4177(d)(6)a, Title 21 of the Delaware Code by striking the phrase “minimum of $230 and not more than an additional $1,150” and substituting in lieu thereof, “minimum of $500 and not more than an additional $1,500”, in § 4177(d)(6)b, by striking the phrase “minimum of $575 and not more than an additional $2,300” and substituting in lieu thereof “minimum of $750 and not more than an additional $2,500”.

Section 6. Amend § 4177(d)(5), § 4177(d)(6) and § 4177(d)(7), Title 21 of the Delaware Code by renumbering the aforesaid paragraphs as § 4177(d)(9), § 4177(d)(10) and § 4177(d)(11), respectively.

Section 7. Amend § 4177B, Title 21 of the Delaware Code, in subsection (a) by striking the phrase “costs of prosecution are court costs as established by the appropriate court schedules”, and substituting in lieu thereof “costs of prosecution shall be $250 and any additional costs as established by the appropriate court schedules”.


SENATE BILL NO. 177; AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 21 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO RULES OF THE ROAD
BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE:

Section 1. Amend § 4177B(f)(2), Title 21 of the Delaware Code by deleting the phrase “(a)(2)-(a)(6)” and inserting in lieu thereof the phrase, “(a)(2), (a)(3), (a)(5) and (a)(6)”.

Section 2. Amend § 4177B(f), Title 21 of the Delaware Code by adding a new paragraph (3) to state as follows:

“(3) Subsection (a)(4). However, if a person who has a blood alcohol concentration of .15 or greater is permitted to participate in the FOE-IID program pursuant to § 4177B(g), § 4177C(c) shall apply.”

Section 3. Amend § 4177C(c), Title 21 of the Delaware Code by deleting the word “have” after the phrase “section 4177D of this title” and before the phrase “the ignition interlock device installed on a minimum of 1 vehicle”, and inserting in lieu thereof, the phrase, “be eligible to apply for”.

Section 4. Amend subsection 4177C(c)(1), Title 21 of the Delaware Code by deleting the phrase “1 month” before the phrase “At least” and after the phrase “has elapsed”, and inserting in lieu thereof, the phrase “45 days”.

Section 5. Amend subsection 4177C(c), Title 21 of the Delaware Code by adding a new subsection (3) to state as follows:

“(3) For a person sentenced under this section, the IID license issued shall limit conditional driving privileges to driving to and from work, school, alcohol treatment programs, and the interlock service provider.”

Section 6. Amend § 4177C, Title 21 of the Delaware Code by redesignating the existing subsections (c) through (g), as (d) through (h) and by adding a new subsection (c) to read as follows:

“(c) Any person who, as a first offender with a blood alcohol concentration of .15 or greater or a first offender who refused a chemical test, has been permitted to participate in the FOE-IID Diversion pursuant to § 4177B(g), and is enrolled in a course of instruction and/or program of rehabilitation pursuant to §§ 4177B(g) and 4177D of this title shall have an ignition interlock device installed on a minimum of 1 vehicle registered in that person’s name or may have the device installed on a vehicle owned by another person if there are no vehicles registered in the name of the offender, immediately following the effective date of revocation. The ignition interlock device shall remain installed on the vehicle for a period of 6 months from the effective date of revocation. That offender may be eligible to apply for an ignition interlock device license under the following terms:

a. At least 45 days has elapsed since the effective date of the revocation.

b. All licenses have been surrendered to the Division of Motor Vehicles prior to issuance of the IID [Ignition Interlock Device] license.”

SYNOPSIS

Section 1 through 6 of this bill will enhance the penalties for persons convicted under § 4177 whose BAC is .15 or greater and persons whose BAC is .15 or greater and who elect to participate in the First Offense Election – Ignition Interlock Diversion Program pursuant to § 4177B(g). Specifically, it increases the period of revocation from 3 months to 6 months and of hard revocation from 30 days to no earlier than 45 days. It further mandates the use of the ignition interlock device for a period of 6 months.